Massachusetts store clerk who tried to steal customer's $3M lottery prize sentenced to probation

Feb 12, 2024, 8:34 am (32 comments)

Mega Millions

A Massachusetts store clerk embroiled in the unique case involving a $3 million lottery ticket admitted Friday that she tried to cash in on the winnings, despite knowing they belonged to someone else.

Carly Nunes, 24, had a choice when she discovered the ticket had been left behind. The decision she made resulted in multiple criminal charges of larceny and fraud.

In Brockton Superior Court on Friday, Nunes admitted there was enough evidence to find her guilty of one of those felony indictments — trying to file a false claim.

The three other charges against her were dismissed. Judge William Sullivan imposed a sentence of two years of probation with the requirement of continuing substance abuse treatment.

"Some people are faced with choices they have to make," Sullivan told Nunes. "And you either have to make the right one or the wrong one. And this was the wrong one."

Surveillance footage from a Lakeville convenience store, previously called Savas, lays out the sequence of events.

Last January, a man named Paul Little bought a Mega Millions lottery ticket and a bag of chips.

Nunes, the store cashier, forgot to hand Little the ticket, and he left without noticing.

Days later, video captured Nunes attempting to claim the prize at the Lottery headquarters in Dorchester. Prosecutors say she was with two men — one another store employee, identified as 32-year-old Joseph Reddem. The ticket Nunes provided was torn and burned.

Employees became suspicious when they saw Nunes and Reddem arguing in the lobby and launched an investigation into the purchases. Reddem is accused of trying to extort Nunes for money from the jackpot.

Plymouth County prosecutor Alexander Zane said the Commonwealth recommended a prison sentence of one to two years to send a message about upholding the integrity of the state's lottery system. But he acknowledged the temptation that Nunes faced.

"I truly don't know if anybody put in the situation that this young woman was in at least wouldn't have thought of doing what she tried to do," Zane said. "The instinct to have potentially $3 million in her hands was truly a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity."

Nunes was eventually indicted by a grand jury and arrested on a warrant when she skipped her arraignment.

She's been released and has been attending court-ordered substance abuse treatment.

On Friday, Nunes' attorney, David Nagle, spoke about how his client's life has changed since the indictment.

"She's been sober since the day she was arrested. And the transformation in her demeanor, in her appearance and her attitude in thinking clearly is remarkable," Nagle said. "Quite frankly, had she walked out of the lottery commission with the $3 million in her pocket, she might not be on this Earth today."

After a lengthy investigation by Massachusetts State Police, Little learned he was actually the rightful winner and finally received the large check last June.

Reached by phone about the conclusion to the case, Little said that Nunes is young enough to learn from the mistake and pick a different direction in life.

"I wish her the best and pray good things come her way," Little said.

Mark William Bracken, executive director of the Massachusetts State Lottery, also reacted to the outcome.

"The integrity of our games is critical to the Lottery's mission of supporting cities and towns. This case is an example of the steps we will take to ensure that prizes are being claimed by the proper ticket owners. We appreciate the efforts of law enforcement in maintaining public trust in the Lottery by holding accountable those attempting to fraudulently claim prizes," he said in a statement.

Reddem is facing charges for his alleged extortion attempt. He is scheduled to on trial in May.

Lottery Post Staff

Comments

Bleudog101

Maybe she'll turn her life around...hope so.

Thankfully the store won't lose its lottery license since it was an isolated incident.  Maybe her and the store have parted ways.

flygowrl

That's a light punishment considering how much she was trying to steal; when the story broke I was expecting major jail time...

Lotterologist's avatarLotterologist

Until the next opportunity comes around...

Lotterologist's avatarLotterologist

Quote: Originally posted by flygowrl on Feb 12, 2024

That's a light punishment considering how much she was trying to steal; when the story broke I was expecting major jail time...

She must be attractive. Statistically, attractive women get punished much less.

As a guy who watches old TV shows, I noticed on the 50's TV show, Gunsmoke, that attractive female criminals get away with what male criminals can't. The marshal, Matt Dillon and his assistant, Chester, always cowtow to women.

When it comes to the system, I guess it's always been that way.

cottoneyedjoe's avatarcottoneyedjoe

I always thought it was mind boggling that only their public arguing tipped off the lottery to investigate her right after claiming it. I wonder how long she would have gotten away with it if she and Reddem had waited until they got back in the car to argue. Or if she would ever have been caught at all?

It's crazy that the lottery's first step wasn't interviewing her and reviewing the retailer's security footage for such a large prize.

Lotterologist's avatarLotterologist

Quote: Originally posted by cottoneyedjoe on Feb 12, 2024

I always thought it was mind boggling that only their public arguing tipped off the lottery to investigate her right after claiming it. I wonder how long she would have gotten away with it if she and Reddem had waited until they got back in the car to argue. Or if she would ever have been caught at all?

It's crazy that the lottery's first step wasn't interviewing her and reviewing the retailer's security footage for such a large prize.

As the Hindu proverb states, "A house where there is strife cannot prosper."

She might have gotten away with it if she wasn't prone to arguments.

What aroused the lottery's suspicion was the ticket being torn and burned. Their arguing just made the lottery officials suspect them more.

Lotterologist's avatarLotterologist

I once had a woman who used to tell me, "I don't like to argue."

I later learned that meant right or wrong, she was to always have things her way.

cottoneyedjoe's avatarcottoneyedjoe

Quote: Originally posted by Lotterologist on Feb 12, 2024

As the Hindu proverb states, "A house where there is strife cannot prosper."

She might have gotten away with it if she wasn't prone to arguments.

What aroused the lottery's suspicion was the ticket being torn and burned. Their arguing just made the lottery officials suspect them more.

It takes two to argue. They both should have put a lid on it, and definitely shouldn't have tried to use the ticket as rolling paper.

db101's avatardb101

Quote: Originally posted by cottoneyedjoe on Feb 12, 2024

It takes two to argue. They both should have put a lid on it, and definitely shouldn't have tried to use the ticket as rolling paper.

I bet the ticket got wet and someone tried to dry it with something that got too hot.

Lotterologist's avatarLotterologist

Quote: Originally posted by cottoneyedjoe on Feb 12, 2024

It takes two to argue. They both should have put a lid on it, and definitely shouldn't have tried to use the ticket as rolling paper.

LOL!

Lotterologist's avatarLotterologist

Quote: Originally posted by cottoneyedjoe on Feb 12, 2024

It takes two to argue. They both should have put a lid on it, and definitely shouldn't have tried to use the ticket as rolling paper.

Since the woman had the ticket, she had the most to lose. Therefore, not attracting attention by arguing may have been more to her benefit.

Luckily, she had her "I am a woman" card, so she will not be punished and they'll believe anything she says.

cottoneyedjoe's avatarcottoneyedjoe

Quote: Originally posted by Lotterologist on Feb 12, 2024

Since the woman had the ticket, she had the most to lose. Therefore, not attracting attention by arguing may have been more to her benefit.

Luckily, she had her "I am a woman" card, so she will not be punished and they'll believe anything she says.

I think the leniency is due to the fact that the attempt failed and she never got a cent from the lottery. She is lucky someone at the lottery decided at the last second to make sure she was the actual winner. I completely agree with her lawyer that she would have come to a bad end if she had actually gotten her hands on that much money, and I hope she can turn her life around.

BobP's avatarBobP

Give me money lottery ticket or I will tear and burn you!!!

Nooo I cannot for I belong to another.

I will tear and burn you again if you don't give me your money!!!

Take me to Lottery HQ they will give you money.

You better not be lying or I will argue and cause suspicion that'll learn ya!!!

A-Team: love it when a plan comes together.

BobP 

Artist77's avatarArtist77

Quote: Originally posted by cottoneyedjoe on Feb 12, 2024

I think the leniency is due to the fact that the attempt failed and she never got a cent from the lottery. She is lucky someone at the lottery decided at the last second to make sure she was the actual winner. I completely agree with her lawyer that she would have come to a bad end if she had actually gotten her hands on that much money, and I hope she can turn her life around.

I agree. Anyone who actually read the facts could tell it had nothing to do with her gender. She was given a second chance so hope she uses it wisely.

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